Local photo by: Ross Zimmerman

Sydney to Hunter: The Historic Foodie Trail

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Tourist Drive 33: Hunter Valley’s foodie drive

We’ve compiled the ultimate progressive foodie experience to make your 90-minute drive from Sydney to Hunter Valley (or drive home) that much better.Hunter Valley is known for its great food and wine, but few know that the journey there (or back) offers a number of great culinary pit stops along the way on Tourist Drive 33.

First off, Tourist Drive 33 (otherwise known as TD33 or Route33) is a beautiful, scenic drive on its own. Tourist Drive 33 is also an excellent alternative to the usual Sydney highway to & from the Hunter Valley. Route 33 winds along the Great North Road or Convict Trail, and meanders through the beautiful NSW countryside. Adding only 15 minutes to the journey from Sydney to Pokolbin- it’s well worth considering. 

What makes Tourist Drive 33 even better is that it’s quickly becoming quite a foodie trail of its own accord. Several Sydney and Newcastle chefs have recently opened restaurants, cafes and bakeries along the historic drive. If you haven’t already, add it to your Sydney journey to or from the Hunter Valley. 

We’ve compiled our top hits of selected dishes. These can be found at some of the best restaurants (with the stops ordered from Sydney to Hunter Valley). You can enjoy the 90-minute scenic drive without stopping. However, if you’re doing all the stops we’d recommend you allow up to 4 hours and leave home with an empty tummy! 

From Sydney to Hunter Valley

Stop 1: Sausage roll @ Saddles (Mount White). Saddles is a stunning, destination gourmet eatery, restaurant and bakehouse located in a beautifully landscaped nursery. Great for brunch, and we’d argue the sausage roll beats Bourke Street Bakery so worth the stop. Our tip- pair the sausage roll with a glass of non-alcoholic bubbly. If the restaurant is full, get takeaway and sit by the dam. Open 7 days, 8 am to 5 pm | 20 Ashbrookes Rd, Mount White NSW 2250

Stop 2: Meatloaf toastie @ Mountain Growers Market (Peats Ridge). Located in a quirky tin-shed cafe selling lots of local produce and upcycled furniture. You can grab some local cheese, bread and salami here as well. Tip: try their fruit salad smoothie with your meatloaf toastie. 
Open Friday to Sunday, 8 am to 2 pm | 1109 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge NSW 2250

> Detour (10 minutes drive):  Roogenic Native Tea and scones @ Angel Sussurri (Yarramalong). Located in a lovely little manor cafe and gourmet deli with local cheeses and gourmet foods. 
Open 7 days, 9 am to 2 pm | 1-4 Linga Longa Rd, Yarramalong NSW 2259

Stop 3: Cheese burger @ The Trading Post (Laguna). Located in the historic 1835 Great Northern Trading Post, Chef Joel Humphreys has recently launched Cafe Marjorie. This cafe has a small but epic menu and what we think is soon to become Hunter Valley’s finest burger.
Open 7 days,  8am to 4 pm | 3718 Great North Road , Laguna, NSW 2325

Stop 4 (a): Woodfired pizza @ Wollombi Tavern (Wollombi). Wollombi Tavern is one of Hunter Valley’s most iconic locations. There has been a watering hole on this site since 1868. Wollombi Tavern is home to the original, world-famous Dr Jurd’s Jungle Juice (created in 1929). Following the 2022 floods, the tavern has undergone extensive renovations. There has been a recent addition of a wood-fired pizza oven pumping out Hunter Valley’s best pizzas. 
Open 7 days, 10 am to late | 2994 Great North Rd, Wollombi, NSW 2325

Stop 4 (b): Lemon myrtle scones @ Myrtle & Stone. Formerly known as Myrtle Cafe, this charming cafe is best known for their breakfasts. Myrtle & Stone and have recently revamped their menu with a range of health & vegetarian options.
Open 7 days, 7am to 2pm | 2877 Wollombi Rd, Wollombi NSW 2325

Stop 4 (c): Meat Pie @ Next Door Cafe. A new addition to the Wollombi food scene, Wollombi Kitchen & the adjoining Next Door Cafe are both quickly becoming a hot spot for foodies. Locally sourced ingredients with great wines & a stunning garden. Known for their casual lunches, and dinners on Friday & Saturdays.  
Open Wednesday to Mondays, 7:30am to 3:30pm | 2884 Wollombi Rd, Wollombi NSW 2325

So start your trip off right with some of the best food on route to the Hunter Valley!